Christian MP to enter gay civil partnership - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
November 22, 2004

Christian MP to enter gay civil partnership

-22/11/04

Labour government Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw, the MP for Exeter since 1997, will legally bind his long-term relationship to senior BBC producer Neal Dalgleish later next year, according to the London Evening Standard.

Mr Bradshaw is a practicing churchgoer and a member of the Christian Socialist Movement. He is one of only two MPs to be elected after openly declaring themselves gay. The other is Stephen Twigg (Labour, Enfield North).

The move is made possible by the Civil Partnerships Bill, which cleared the final hurdle in the House of Lords last week and then received the Royal Assent.

The Bill gives lesbian and gay couples the right to form recognised partnerships and comparable rights to married couples on matters of tenancy, tax and inheritance.

The Bishops of Chelmsford, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford, Peterborough, St Albans, St Edmondsbury & Ipswich and Truro voted in favour of the measure.

Some Christians have supported the move as a matter of civil rights, rather than as a sign of approval of lesbian and gay relationships. Many others have opposed it.

Bradshaw won his Exeter seat in 1997 in the face of a strong opposition from Tory candidate Dr Adrian Rogers, now president of the Conservative Family Institute, who was reported as describing homosexuality as 'sterile, disease-ridden and God-forsaken'.

Christian MP Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat, Southwark and Bermondsey) said: "I warmly welcome the successful passage of the Civil Partnerships Bill through both houses", adding that he was "pleased that attempts to block the bill in the House of Lords by introducing an inappropriate amendment were decisively defeated."

Many churches, not least the Anglican communion, are deeply divided on the question of homosexuality.

Some argue that all homosexual unions are contrary to scripture, others say that faithful, covenanted relationships are a legitimate development from traditional teaching.

Christian MP to enter gay civil partnership

-22/11/04

Labour government Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw, the MP for Exeter since 1997, will legally bind his long-term relationship to senior BBC producer Neal Dalgleish later next year, according to the London Evening Standard.

Mr Bradshaw is a practicing churchgoer and a member of the Christian Socialist Movement. He is one of only two MPs to be elected after openly declaring themselves gay. The other is Stephen Twigg (Labour, Enfield North).

The move is made possible by the Civil Partnerships Bill, which cleared the final hurdle in the House of Lords last week and then received the Royal Assent.

The Bill gives lesbian and gay couples the right to form recognised partnerships and comparable rights to married couples on matters of tenancy, tax and inheritance.

The Bishops of Chelmsford, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford, Peterborough, St Albans, St Edmondsbury & Ipswich and Truro voted in favour of the measure.

Some Christians have supported the move as a matter of civil rights, rather than as a sign of approval of lesbian and gay relationships. Many others have opposed it.

Bradshaw won his Exeter seat in 1997 in the face of a strong opposition from Tory candidate Dr Adrian Rogers, now president of the Conservative Family Institute, who was reported as describing homosexuality as 'sterile, disease-ridden and God-forsaken'.

Christian MP Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat, Southwark and Bermondsey) said: "I warmly welcome the successful passage of the Civil Partnerships Bill through both houses", adding that he was "pleased that attempts to block the bill in the House of Lords by introducing an inappropriate amendment were decisively defeated."

Many churches, not least the Anglican communion, are deeply divided on the question of homosexuality.

Some argue that all homosexual unions are contrary to scripture, others say that faithful, covenanted relationships are a legitimate development from traditional teaching.

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